By Patricia Mashiri
The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology had announced that attachment or teaching practice fees has been slashed by 40% with immediate effect.
This policy abolishes circular number 6 of 1997 which requires students on attachment to pay full tuition fees.
Professor Amon Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology said the decision was reached after considering many factors which include the economic constraints in the country.
“This decision has been taken after consideration of the economic environment and the socio- economic status of the majority of the students. Students on attachment meet the cost of accommodation, food and transport and to and from work. The Ministry has considered the variable and fixed costs attended to students’ supervision and utilisation of teaching and learning facility.
“In reducing the cost to 60% of tuition, the Ministry considered that institutions require funds to meet supervisory costs for each student on attachment albeit the majority of students continue to access library and other learning facilities whilst on attachment. Higher and tertiary education institutions play an important role in the economic and social development of the development,” Murwira said.
The Minister said the decision was in line with President Emmerson Munangagwa’s policy which is inclusive education to ensure that government delivers quality education to all.
Petronella Nzira, a Midlands State University Law student said she was grateful that the fees had been reduced by 40% as she was struggling to meet the costs of transport, accommodation and attachment fees at the same time.
“I’m very grateful that the Minister has finally heard our cry. The fees, transport and accommodation payment for us students on attachment was unbearable considering the economic condition in the country. I’m not receiving any form of allowance at my work place so my parents are struggling to raise the fees, transport money to and from work, lunch money and accommodation. At least we will struggle to pay the 60% fees. The 40% will go to other expenses,” Nzira said.
This move by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology has been long overdue to the tertiary institutions which have been pleading for the reduction of fees for quite some time now. This is a great step which is welcomed by many people. Many tertiary institution students demonstrated against the payment of full fees during attachment.